Explaining a Fujita Scale

Fujita Scale

Tornado season spans the spring and summer months. While there are certain parts that strike more than others, tornados can hit anywhere. So, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the terminology associated with tornadoes to be safe rather than sorry.

A tornado watch is different than a tornado warning. A tornado watch means that tornados are possible in the area. This means you should get prepared in case a warning comes. Make sure you have your safe room or designated area ready so that you can act quickly. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. This means that there is danger and you need to take action by moving somewhere safe.

What Is The Fujita Scale?

The Fujita Scale (F-Scale) is a way of rating a tornado’s intensity. The intensity is based predominately on the wind speed and the structure and vegetation damage that the storm creates. Meteorologists, engineers and other scientists primarily in the United States are the ones that classify the tornados. The scale has five categories, F-0 through F-5, with F-5 being the most damaging storm.

  • F-0 is a tornado that has winds around 40-72 mph and causes slight damage to properties.
  • F-1 has wind speed around 73-112 mph.
  • F-2 tornados have wind speeds between 113-172 mph.
  • F-3 tornados have wind speed of 158-206 mph.
  • F-4 tornados have wind speeds of 207-260 mph.
  • F-5 tornados have wind speeds of 261-318 mph and cause total destruction of properties and vegetation.

All tornado watches and warnings should be taken seriously and appropriate measures to ensure safety should be taken.

  • The most common tornado is an F-1 with a frequency of 40 percent.
  • Second is F-0 tornadoes at 29 percent and F-2 tornadoes at 24 percent for a close third.
  • Less than 1 percent of tornadoes are classified as a F-5 or the theoretical “F-6” tornadoes.

How Should You Prepare for Tornados?

Most injuries associated with high winds are caused by flying debris, so it is important to seek shelter. A good idea would be to decide on a designated place in your home or business for you and your family or employees to go to in case of a tornado emergency. Make sure everyone is aware of what this location is and of any other parts of the emergency plan. Perhaps purchase a weather radio and emergency supplies. 

For more tips to prepare for the next tornado warning, or to schedule cleanup services following a natural disaster, please contact Rainbow Restoration. We're here to help restore your home and get your life back on track.


For Further Reading:

Here's Your Tornado Shelter Supplies Checklist

More Than the Funnel: Severe Weather Tornado Signs

Tornado Shelters: Where to Take Cover When a Tornado Strikes

Why So Many Tornados in Tornado Alley?

Most Common Tornado Damage